Hi everyone, welcome Glycine back with the Combat Sub Aquarius; this one right here is a serious diver’s watch. Here are some of my initial thoughts of the fit and functionality of this timepiece.
As mentioned, this is certainly a lot of watch. Could it be worn as a desk diver? As you can see on my 6.5” wrist, the watch does not wear overly large. The lugs seem long but curve down aggressively; as a result, the case sits flush on the wrist. Of course, with the significant thickness of the case, this will never be a dress watch to be worn under a cuff, but I would say that this watch, as with many other Glycine’s, wears a bit smaller than the listed specifications. Is it the size for everybody? Certainly not, but the size of the case lends itself to the rugged and sporty aesthetic that the upcoming specifications help to support. Back to my earlier question: could this be worn as a desk diver? If you are a fan of the aesthetic, I think it could be; however, that would be a minor disservice to the specifications that this piece sports.
There are three main aspects of this timepiece that lend credibility to its use as a true diver.
First and foremost, it’s rated to a whopping 50ATM of water resistance, and boasts a helium escape valve at 8 o’clock. For those of you unfamiliar with the helium escape valve, it’s a small screw down crown that allows for bubbles of helium and other gases to escape the inner workings of the case. This is a function that is only found on watches that are meant to be operated at high pressure for prolonged periods of time. Helium atoms, being extremely small, can work their way around the gaskets and seals to penetrate the inner workings of the watch. At continuous pressure, this isn’t an issue. However, just as dissolved gases can cause decompression sickness in divers, so too can these helium atoms wreak havoc on the internal workings of a watch. As the external pressure changes as the diver ascends, the buildup of gases inside the watch could damage the mechanics or even pop the crystal off. The helium escape valve is a way to combat this, as the one-way valve allows for gases to escape and for the pressure to equalize during decompression.
Next, the 60-click unidirectional rotating bezel is sturdy, features little play and a knurled edge for easy operation, and has a small luminous pip at zero. The Superluminova on the hands and hour markers is bright and lasts a while, and the square on the second hand helps you track it at a glance. The size of all the dial elements lends to a nice streamlined aesthetic, and I could see a potential issue of clutter on an already large watch if they were enlarged, though that may help more with legibility as well.
Finally, the rubber diving strap features a hidden extension clasp for wear over a diving suit. The extension clasp has six different positions to ensure a snug fit, and is held in place by a small sliding lever. The deployant clasp itself is thick and shuts with a satisfying, secure click. One point about the bracelet is that the strap—rather than slide through the deployant clasp for adjustment—must be cut to size. This is common on many dive watches to ensure an exact fit and to remove excess material that could be caught on protrusions. I cannot comment on this choice other than personal preference; I understand the choice from a functional perspective, but as someone who does not dive seriously, the lack of choice to resize the bracelet save for the diver’s extension is a bit of a drawback. Two final thoughts on the bracelet:
1. Measure twice, cut once.
2. The lugs are a fairly standard 22 mm, so this could easily be put on another strap for a change in the look and feel of the watch.